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his fame was enhanced when pope leo x appointed raphael architect of st. peter's in 1514. by the time of his death, at age 37, raphael had achieved a position of supremacy among his contemporaries. he left a legacy of artistic perfection th has endured through the centuries. artists have taken direction from raphael's work, and great connoisseurs have coveted his few obtainable altarpieces, portraits, and madonnas. only a handful of authentic raphael paintings have reached america. but his art has played a signifant role in the development of taste in collecting, dating back to our beginnings as a nation. ( music )
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like anyultivated gentleman of his time, thomas jefferson had a special admiration for raphael. jefferson was in the avant-garde in forming taste for classil architecture and art in america. raphael stood athe summit of that tradition. while serving as minister to france, jefferson purchased art for his collection. included were two copies after raphael. one is now lost, but the other, a copy after a holy family, is still at monticello. a copy adequately represented raphael's style. it also stood as an example of jefferson's taste. but his contemporaries believed that the united states should first develop in a practic direction. benjamin franklin claimed, for example, thatthe invention of a machine is of more importance than a masterpiece by raphael."
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john adams said, "the age of painting and sculpture has not arrived in this country, and i hope it will not arrive soon. i would not give a sixpence for a picture of raphael." nevertheless, admiration for the artist became so great th copies of his works grew in number, especially of the madonna of the chair. merchants and landowners placed these copies in rooms filled with family portraits and memorabilia. unlike jefferson's monticello, the copy after raphael might now be the only art relating to an old master in the room. the attitude toward raphael changed during the 19th century. through prints and the new medium of photography, copies of his sistine madonna and other works proliferated.
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once mass-produced, they were no longer a mark of taste and distinction but symbolized their owner's moral as well as artistic values. eventually, raphael's images became so commonplace they were fair game for parody. in the late 19th century, a new, more sophisticated type of collector arose in america: the millionaire who, having amassed a fortune, was now prepared to spend it on masterpieces. these collectors wanted authentic works and so turned to experts for advice. among those advisors or connoisseurs, the foremost was certainly bernard berenson. through study, he made himself the leading authority on early italian painting. berenson played a crucial role in bringing authentic works by raphael to america.
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the first raphael collector was a woman. isabella stewart gardner of boston brought together one of the finest collections of old master paintings in america. from her father and husband she inherited two fortunes and traveled extensively abroad. she was deeply influenced by what she saw. in the outskirts of boston, she built fenway court, inspired by venetian palazzos she had visited. she placed her works of art in settings meant to evoke their original environme. isabella gardner identified with isabella d'este,
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the great patron of the arts in the renaissance, whom she saw as her precursor. like isabella d'este's, mrs. gardner's ambition was to obtain a raphael for her collection. the kind of raphael she wanted was, naturally, a madonna. the one she coveted was the so-called "small cowper madonna," then in an english private collection. berenson said he moved heaven and earth to get the painting for her, but was ver successful. mrs. gardner had to be satisfied instead with a portrait by raphael. the painting was of a roman prelate, tommaso inghirami. this realistic portrayal of an unattractive sitter was one raphael's most brilliant inventions. although it was not the kind of raphael that collectors preferred, mrs. gardner purchased it in 1898.
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a predella panel from an altarpiece representing the lamentation. mrs. gardner had never seen the painting. she bought it based on berenson's recommendation and on a photograph which he had sent her. although isabella gardner never obtained a madonna, she did succeed in acquiring the first authentic raphael to reach these shores. by the turn of the century, the fortunes creat when america changed from an agricultural to an industrial economy had grown enormously. j. pierpont morgan was the greatest financier of his age. he also was determined to become its greatest collector. in the year that morgan formed united states steel, the world's first billion- dollar corporation,
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he achieved a goal equally great in the field of art. for an unprecedented sum, he acquired raphael's famous colonna altarpiece. like other wealthy americans of his time, morgan sought the company of the european aristocracy. he was part of the cultural movement known as the american renaissance, which saw the united states as the heir of the european past. adjacent to his house in new york, morgan built a library as a monument to his taste. the decoraon inside the library was inspired by raphael and other italian masters. morgan's library contained his collection of rare books and manuscpts, as well as renaissance paintings and sculpture. like isabella gardner, morgan identified with a renaissance predecessor,
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the great baer agostino chigi. morgan even installed in his study a brocade wall-covering with chigi's coat-of-arms. morgan's taste inclined to the decorative arts. he liked small, finely wrought objects. nevertheless, like other american collectors he wanted a raphael madonna. in 1910 he purchased "the holy family," which he hoped would prove to be by raphael. this picture is now knowto be a copy, but morgan's impornce as a collector of raphael should not be underestimated. he spent more than half his fortune on works of art and set the example that other collectors would follow. like mrs. gardner, morgan never succeeded in obtaining an autographed madonna by raphael.
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the first american to accomplish this was henry walters of baltimore. walters made a fortune consolidating railways and was reputed to be the richest man in the south. well-educated, well-traveled, cultivated, walters, like morgan, had a taste for precious objects. nevertheless, he felt it was important to include a raphael in his collection. in 1901 walters acquired the madonna of the candelabra, believed to be at least partly by the master's own hand. scholars attribute the virgin and child to raphael and the angels to an assistant. walters proudly displayed his madonna in a gallery which he built
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adjacent to the family house in baltimore. owning a raphael had a significance beyond that of acquiring a beautiful work of art. he was the only artist whose prestige had endured all changes of taste and fashion. the next raphael acquisition marked the coming-of-age of america as a nation of collectors. the small cowper madonna, which mrs. gardner had coveted, was sold to the wideners in 1914 for the highest price that had ever been paid for a painting. outside philadelphia, the wideners built one of the grandest estates of the gilded age. re, they lived the life of american princes.
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p.a.b. widener made his fortune in street railways. he was eectic in his tastes. his son, joseph,as more discriminating. of some 500 paintings originly in the widener collection, joseph reduced the number to 100. as at fenway court, lynnewood hall had a raphael room whose focus was the small cowper madonna. saw the group of raphael collectors widen. sir joseph duveen, the flamboyant dealer, provided these collectors with many of the raphaels that are now in america. in 1924 clarence mackay bought a small predella panel, "agony in the garden."
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in 1928 jules bache acquired the portrait of giuliano de medici. a broker himself, bache would have identified with that great family of renaissance bankers. other collectors bought works which were by or believed to be by raphael, including the portrait of a young man, now in the hyde collection at glens falls, new york. but by any count, the most successful of all these american collectors of raphael was andrew mellon. a leading force in banking and industry, mellon went on to become secretary of the treasury and later ambassador to england. he also had a second career as a collector. mellon acquired his first raphael in 1928: the large cowper madonna.
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at that time, the idea was beginning to take shape in mellon's mind for a national gallery, one which would rival the great european galleries. clearly, such a collection had to include raphael. in 1930 mellon was presented with an extraordinary opportunity. the soviet government agreed to sell two of their best raphaels. one was the alba madonna, for which mellon offered the highest price ever paid for a painting up to that time. the other was raphael's small saint george and the dragon, an early work with an illustrious history. along with the rest of his collection, mellon's three raphaels formed the nucleus of the national gallery, founded in 1937 and opened to the public in 1941. president franklin roosevelt: "this national gallery and the collections it contains..." narrator: the raphaels in the national gallery were joined by another painting by the artist,
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the portit of bindo altoviti, purchased by chain store magnate samuel kress. on berenson's recommendation, kress bought the portrait from a european museum. today, it is generally accepted as a work by the master's hand. it was not only nostalgia for the past which led american collectors to pursue raphael, nor was it merely rivalry with each other. these collectors shared a sense of cultural responsibility. the raphaels, once in private hands, are now all in public museums where they can be seen and enjoyed by the american people. ( music )
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( music ) narrator: the east buiing of the national gallery of art in washing d.c.-- built to relieve the heavily- burdened facilities
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of the original gallery, to house temporary exhibitions, and to serve as a center for advanced study in the visual arts. within these walls, visitors to our nation's capital are drawn in to a very special place where monumental accomplishments of modern masters await discovery. built on a trapezoidal plot of land adjoining the original gallery, the east building is of a unique and radical design, utilizing triangular shapes with large interior spaces. it was a collaborative effort spanning more than ten years.
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director j. carter brown worked closely with architect i. m. pei in its development. seven works of art were commissioned it was agreed that a specific pieceas needed to animate the unbroken expanse of wall in the central courtyard. but the artist would have to have a capacity for monumental concepts, with a sense of color and scale appropriate to the site. a unanimous choice was spanish artist joan miro. born in the catalan city of barcelona in 1893, miro has remained close to the land and its people. but as a young man in paris, he joined th friends like max ernst and jean arp in the emerging surrealist movement of the 1920s. in his painting "the farm," miro's characteristic symbols and themes began to appear: serpentine shapes,
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checkerboard patterns, infinite sce represented by the moon or a star. in 1922, he painted "the farmer's wife," the ancestress of countless female symbols that also became a continuing motif in miro's art. in 1924, his art broke free of gravitational constraints in theurrealistic world of "harlequin's carnival." over the years, he developed his own personal symbolism, and in the 1950s, the scale of his art grew with such works as a mural at harrd university and "the wall ofhe sun" for unesco in pas. as his work grew in size, miro continued what he termed "a process of simplification." he stated, "little by little, i have managed to reach a point at which i use no more than a small number of forms and colors
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this process found a culminating expression in his eightoot-high painting "femme," the maquette for the tial gallery's tapestry. miro entered the project with much enthusiasm, stating, "i'll go into this and fight it through with everything i have." over many months, the tapestry took shape in his imagination. finally, in 1976 it was set down rapidly as a maquette. in the ancient catalan city of tarragona, joan miro meets with young master weaver josep royo to discuss the transformation of his painting into a 10-meter-high tapestry. studying a photograph of the maquette, they consider how best to translate miro's art into a heavily- textured weaving, which would capture the spirit of his concept. royo has an enormous task before him. in this converted flour mill in tarragona,
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many months of preparation are needed before the weaving itself can begin. nearly four miles of heavy cotton line is measured, stretched and chained for use as the tapestry's vertical warp. royo has developed a unique loom for weaving large tapestries. it has been built to accommodate the 20-foot width and the 420-warp threa which must be accurately spaced and held in line. after all the warps have been laid out, each more than 50 feet in length, they areound s onto a huge drum before finally being transferred to a massive overhead roller and stretched tight.
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on a cold february morning in 1977, the loom is ready for the weaving process to begin. the wool for the weft was imported from new zealand, in the heart of catalonia, and tested for durability and resistance to fading. weaving from the bottom up and in meter segments, the completed section is pulled below the working bridge onto the floor, enabling the finished portion to be viewed as the work progresses. in march, miro visits his young colleague's studio. he inspects the progress, makes suggestions, and gives his approval. royo works with a team of fellow weavers whom he has carefully trained to complish this imposing task.
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royo's revolutnary concept allows weaving to be performed from either side using multiple groups of yarn twisted together and passed over varying numbers of warps through the months of april and may, meter by meter the forms of the tapestry gradually begito emerge. miro has said of his approach to art, "things come to me slowly. my vocabulary forms has not been the discovery of a day. it took ape alst spite of myself. in this way, ty ripen in my spirit."
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into the steamy month of august, the spirit of "femme" grows until the figure is complete. now, with only a few inches of background remaining, royo welcomes miro to his studio once more to witness the final steps of an eight-month process. royo says, "working together, we have become so closely attuned that i can almost read his mind. i take direction as much from an expression or gesture as from words or sketches. working with miro has forced me to make a constant effort to do better, an effort from which i have benefited in many respects." for these two catalan artists,
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it has been a fulfilling experience. what was born in the imagination of one artist has been translated and skillfully brought into being by another. it has been more than five years since miro accepted this project. the end is now in sight, but first "femme" must be prepared for her trip. hundreds of mothballs are scattered for protection before the tapestry is cut from the loom, covered, rolled and packed for shipment. the finished tapestry roll is 20 feet long, weighing well over a ton, and the task of moving is not a simple one.
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a window has to be enlarged to accommodate the passage of this huge parcel from royo's studio. ( muffled comments, crane engine rumbling ) the people of tarragona watch as "femme" is cautiously lowered onto the waiting truck to begin a long voyage across the atlantic. first she must travel to barcelona to be crated, before passage by ship to her home in america. royo follows "femme" to washington, d.c.,
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to supervise the installation on the south wall of the east building's central court. there are now many new problems to overcome. the tolerances are extremely close, demanding precise measurement, careful planning and a team effort. the huge roll barely fits into this confined space. the workers must unroll it evenly and accurately. bolts have been embedded deep into the structural wall, behind the marble facing, to support this massive piece when it slides into place. ( muffled comments )
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carefully, royo grooms "femme," as the crew gradually hoistser upwd over the last few yards of a long journey. ( music ) this is the realization of many dreams, uly a work of collaboration; the fulfillment of a vision shared by the architect and the national gallery, supported by generous patrs, brought to fruition by joan miro and josep royo. on this day, those drms and efforts are reaching a successful conusion.
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"femme" is at home. brown: "it's everything we hoped." today, suspended 42 feet above the museum floor, "femme" is fulfilling her intended role. she stands tall, as the 76-foot mobile by miro's close friend alexander calder slowly circles by.
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she is in the company of the works of other modern masters such as henry moore and jean arp, of david smith, noguchi, caro, rosati and motherwell. but she stands alone at the head of the south wall as a unifying force and vital core of color in the east building of the national gallery of art. ( music )

tv
Mosaic World News
LINKTV October 2, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

News/Business. English news reports from Middle Eastern broadcasters. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 8, Mrs. Gardner 6, Berenson 4, Walters 4, Tarragona 3, Miro 3, Joan Miro 3, Isabella Gardner 3, Cowper Madonna 3, Monticello 2, Boston 2, New York 2, Raphael 2, Madonna 2, Barcelona 2, Baltimore 2, Jefferson 2, France 1, Heaven 1, Unesco 1
Network LINKTV
Duration 00:30:00
Rating PG-13;V
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color


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